The Nutcracker Story
The ballet opens on the square of a small German town near the home of Councillor von Stahlbaum, many years ago. It is Christmas Eve. Guests are dressed in their finery, on their way to a Christmas party which the Councillor is giving for his children, Clara and Fritz. A little lost girl is wandering in the street and begging. She is given a nutcracker doll by a peddler selling goods. Soon, she falls asleep in the snow with her new nutcracker doll. What we see from then on is her dream….
the Dream…The town square disappears and we see the interior of the Councillor’s home, decorated for Christmas. The guests enter and there is much merrymaking and dancing. Soon, Herr Drosselmeyer, the wizard like scientist, who is the Godfather of Clara, arrives. He brings with him a gift of mechanical dolls. He winds them up and they dance for the children. He also brings a gift for Clara in the form of a Nutcracker. In the course of the evening, Clara’s gift is broken by her jealous brother. Clara carefully puts the doll under the tree. When the party is over, Clara – unable to sleep, comes down to have a last look at her Nutcracker doll. She is so tired that she falls asleep. When she awakes, the Nutcracker, the toys under the tree, and mice have come to life. The Nutcracker leads the toy soldiers in a battle against the Mouse King and his followers. The Nutcracker is losing the battle until Clara finally ends it by throwing her slipper at the Mouse King. The battle has been won and Herr Drosselmeyer and Clara are led through the Land of the Snow on their way to The Kingdom of Sweets.
Act II opens as the Dream Fairy is awakening the Kingdom of the Sweets for the arrival of Clara. The Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes Clara and plans a celebration in her honor. She is entertained by a series of fantastic and lively dances all representing some form of good things to eat or drink. Among the dances Clara enjoys, Spanish Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, Russian Candy, and Danish Marzipan. The Baker and his family arrive and cook up some special treats. The merriment is climaxed by the beautiful Waltz of the Flowers, and especially delightful dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. The Dream comes to an end as the little lost girl in the square is awakened by her mother who has come to find her.